'Never Have I Ever' Season 2 Review: Devi sheds her confused teen image as Netflix show matures
Every time life throws a challenge at Devi, she grows up a little more than the last time
Spoilers for 'Never Have I Ever' Season 2
Netflix's 'Never Have I Ever' doesn't flub Season 2. Instead, it develops the narrative in a manner that intensifies the relationships at play and heightens the drama. What separates it from other teen dramas is the fact that it provides the major characters concrete arcs and lends more depth to the storyline making it clear it's more than just mush and puppy romance.
Creators Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher’s coming-of-age dramedy makes a sincere effort to document the misadventures of Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan). From unsuccessful attempts at nurturing relationships to constant brooding about the various life directions she has to choose from, the teen goes through a rollercoaster journey.
Devi grapples with multiple curveballs coming her way in the form of grief, disconnected relationships, and love. While at it, she also embraces the person she is, something that was touched upon the previous season.
Season 2 is calmer. Devi, despite finding herself in trouble, is a lot mellow and beginning to understand the workings of life. It has a lot to do with the mother-daughter patch up at the end of the maiden season. It took a massive blowout for Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) and Devi to realize that they need to give each other space and that was the only way forward.
Maitreyi lends an easy, effortless charm to her Devi. In no way does the portrayal come across as manufactured. She nails the confused high-schooler as well as Darren Barnet. His Paxton Yoshida-Hall is a jock but the mellow kind, which comes through in his nuanced performance. Poorna, as the subdued mother of a teenager, hits the bull's eye. She goes from being the controlling matriarch to a friendly figure easily.
'Never Have I Ever' has always been about Devi's journey, her griefs, and relationship troubles. Which is a lot of burden on those tiny shoulders. But that's where the beauty lies. Every time life throws a challenge at Devi, she grows up a little more than the last time. Her transformation from a feeble, confused teen to a confident and brave high schooler is impressive.
The series ends with Devi going to dance with Paxton as Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison) looks with sadness written all over his face. With this incident marking the end of Season 2, the question of a potential third season lingers.
'Never Have I Ever' Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.